May 24 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Electronic medical records, reducing gang-related violence, cancer-causing DNA mutations, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar David G. Bundy, MD, MPH, also an alumnus of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program, spoke to the Baltimore Sun about a proposal being considered by Maryland health officials that would require children in the state to get more vaccines before attending school. “The recommendations for these immunizations are not new nationally,” Bundy said. “This is just updating the state’s requirement to reflect the existing recommendations. It just makes us all look like we’re in alignment with what we’re doing, and it tightens the safety net at schools for kids who may be missing vaccines.”

“They have been utilized in Texas, but not appropriately utilized,” RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Alexia Green, RN, PhD, FAAN, said of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), in an interview with Fox 34 (Lubbock, Texas). A new report finds that greater utilization of APRNs in Texas would save the state about $8 billion.

Mahshid Abir, MD, and Art Kellerman, MD, MPH, FACE, wrote an op-ed for USA Today about the benefits electronic health records provide for health care providers and patients, especially in the wake of natural disasters like last year’s deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri. “The twister…heavily damaged St. John’s Regional Medical Center, sucking up patient files and X-rays and depositing them up to 70 miles away,” they write. “Fortunately, barely three weeks earlier, St. John’s had switched from paper to electronic health records… Even as the hospital’s 183 patients were being evacuated, St. John’s staff accessed and printed out their records from a remote site, and sent copies with patients to hospitals where they were transferred.” Abir is an alumnus of the RWJF/ U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Clinical Scholars program, and Art Kellerman, MD, MPH, FACEP, is an alumnus of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows program and the Clinical Scholars program.

Michael Greenstone, PhD, an alumnus of the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research program, authored an op-ed for the Washington Post on “Keeping tabs on the government’s red tape.” Greenstone is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Joel Cantor, ScD, a grantee of the RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) and director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, wrote an op-ed for NJ Spotlight about Governor Chris Christie’s veto of the New Jersey health benefit exchange, and how the state should proceed to meet its obligations under the health reform law.

Andrew Papachristos, PhD, an RWJF Health & Society Scholar, spoke to Medill Chicago about a plan to reduce gang-related violence in Chicago. “The typical solution to gang violence used to be to go in and lock up as many gang members as possible,” he said. “The new strategy is not to lock up everyone but to go talk to the community, find out who is shooting each other, and what the disputes are about.”

Clinical Scholar Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, continues to receive media coverage for his study that finds a growing trend of pregnant women using opiate drugs at the time of delivery, and subsequent drug withdrawal in newborns. American Medical News reports on the findings. Read more about Patrick’s study.

A piece in Technology Today cites a 2007 paper co-authored by RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumnus Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, that identified a quick way to find DNA mutations known to make cells cancerous. Read more about Garraway’s work with whole genome sequencing for prostate cancer.

Medical Daily cites a study by Health & Society Scholars alumna Magdalena Cerda, PhD, MPH, which examines the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and its use, abuse and dependence.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Executive Nurse Fellows, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Health & Health Care Policy, Health & Society Scholars, Health Data and IT, Health Policy Fellows, Human Capital News, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Media Coverage, Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Publications, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research